Fleet of Teslas (driving and crying)

fleet of teslas

Teslas All Around (driving and crying)

You’d have to consider Austin, Texas a boom town of sorts. Everyone is here: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook. Mr. Musk is planning to build his own city nearby in an effort to avoid taxes and environmental oversight. And the Teslas are everywhere. All models. All colors and finishes. So much so, that a Tesla is no longer a status symbol here, it’s more like a Toyota. I get excited to see a McClaren or a Fisker.

Are they all driving themselves? What does a gaggle of Teslas driving down the highway together become? Can they share intelligence and safety information? If we all had Teslas could we just hook them all together is some web of transportation and never have another car crash? We can all be in our little self-driving bubbles reading TikTok and WhatsApp. If I have a more expensive Tesla can I pay for an upgrade to go faster or more efficiently than my cohort of ordinary Teslas?

It would be great if we could ALL have self-driving cars. It’s obvious that that is not the plan. Lower cost yes, but only to increase market share and fend off the Asian competitors. It would be great if we could commit to high-speed rail in our country too, but that’s not about to happen. Hell, we can’t even approve of the light rail in Austin and stick to the plan. Even with the money in place, we’re dialing back our train ambitions here this week. Unreal. Why? More Teslas? More car sales? More fossil fuel burning?

As I am surrounded by self-driving Teslas I’m wondering how well the self-driving knockoff from Taiwan is going to perform. Will their software mesh well with others? Will we form an open standard for self-driving software to sync and drive with harmony? More likely, Mr. Musk will reach for dominance and kill the opportunities for competitors to join.

When I look around town at the people in the cars being driven by AI and algos I don’t see success, I see excess. What are they doing in those expensive transports? Looking at TikTok and Amazon. I want mass transit in this tech mecca, but Mr. Musk, his minions, and the entire fossil fuel industry are still aligned against a shareable and open standard for these torpedoes to communicate with one another. We’re doomed to cars for the long term. If we can’t even get it together in a city as progressive and motivated as Austin, we’re not going to make much progress in any middle-America city. We’re setting a standard and an expectation that the rich will have self-driving cars so they can focus on social media and e-commerce. The poor will still walk, ride the bus, and keep their beaters running with tape and twine.

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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